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PPPLab Newsletter #01
In this newsletter:
  1. Welcome to our first newsletter!
  2. Kick Off PPPLab with a workshop and publications during Africa Works
  3. Column Marieke de Wal collaborating on tackling 'wicked' problems
  4. Interview Geoffrey Nyamota improving the livelihoods of 90,000 smalholders
  5. Insight Series download our brief ánd comprehensive booklets on PPPs
  6. Column Anno Galema why we are sitting on gold
  7. Interview Leo Nijland and Taco de Nies  we need more flexible 'rules of the game'
  8. Events and collaborations  in Viet Nam, Spain, and Britain
  9. Interesting reads check out what we've been reading
  10. Upcoming Publications what are we working on?
1.Welcome to the first PPPLab newsletter! PPPLab is a research, learning and support initiative about the relevance, effectiveness and quality of Dutch supported public-private partnerships on food, private sector development and water. Its mission is to extract and co-create knowledge and methodological lessons from and on PPPs that can be used to improve both implementation and policy.

This newsletter will keep you up to date on our activities and provide news and background for and from practitioners and researchers in PPPs.
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2.Kick Off PPPLabPPPLab was launched during the Africa Works conference in Leiden on 16 October 2014.
In our workshop ‘Ever Worked in a PPP?’ we invited participants to bring forward ideas on three central topics:
  1. How can we stimulate innovation within PPPs?
  2. How can we bring together commercial and impact/public finance objectives in sustainable business models? and
  3. How can we sustain the achievements of PPP contracts after date of expiry?
Workshop participants from NGOs, businesses and knowledge institutes shared their insights on working in PPPs and came up with recommendations for the PPPLab to work on in the coming four years. 

Moreover, during the workshop, the PPPLab presented its first Insights Series to Christiaan Rebergen, Director General of International Cooperation of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Read more
3.Column: Marieke de Wal Complex societal challenges (or: ‘wicked problems’) such as economic inequality, poverty and conflict can only be tackled if communities work together. In the past decade we have seen that global organisations – firms, governments and civil society organisations – are investing more and more in joint agendas. In various forms of collaboration – multi stakeholder platforms, networks, round tables, and partnerships – we shape a more sustainable future. When we work together we can aim higher. When we learn together we can even go faster. When we experiment together we can be more innovative.
 
As coordinator of the PPPLab I am committed to connecting people and organisations in partnerships for sustainable development. The PPPLab enables us to build strong and effective partnerships, and enhances public-private collaboration. Within PPPLab we can experiment together, and exchange and improve together.
 
The PPPLab supports PPPs in their implementing efforts and with their practical challenges. Moreover it contributes to the body of knowledge around PPPs, but it also works on policy improvement. Our lab works from an action research perspective, which means that we, together with you, want to enhance the relevance and effectiveness of public private collaboration. If you and your PPP want to be involved with the PPPLab, please let us know.
 
I am looking forward to collaborate in order to solve some of the biggest challenges of our time: global water safety and food security.
 
Marieke de Wal, coordinator PPPLab

4.Interview: Geoffrey Nyamota

The multinational coffee trader Ecom and the NGO Hivos are collaborating in the 4S@Scale project in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It is one of the PPPs supported by Facility for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Food Security (FDOV) of the Dutch government. The project’s overall objective is to improve the livelihoods of 90,000 smallholder coffee farmers in East Africa using integrated farming systems.
PPPLab's Marleen Brouwer talked to Geoffrey Nyamota, who is the programme manager for HIVOS of the 4S@Scale programme, about mutual benefits and challenges  Read more.

5.PPPLab Insight Series

Are you looking for brief though comprehensive information on what PPPs are all about ?

We are happy to present our first two Insights Series booklets: 
’Public-Private Partnerships, A Brief Introduction’ and ‘Building Partnerships’,
Both are aimed at practitioners and researchers in the field of PPPs. 

An additional three booklets will be published this year.
6.Column: Anno Galema When reading an evaluation report, we mostly meet an old friend among the recommendations, namely that “more research is needed in order to reach final conclusions”.  Also the current literature on public-private partnerships, particularly on development PPPs, is broadcasting this message. At the same time PPPs are gaining traction and so is the (political) call for more evidence on their effectiveness and added value. Clearly there is a job to do.

At the same time, it made us realize that with the 40+ partnerships in the PPP facilities FDOV and FDW, we were actually sitting on gold. This portfolio is a great opportunity to generate more insight in what makes PPPs effective instruments for development, and to address the why, what and how questions for the benefit of practitioners, policy makers and ultimately impatient politicians. Fortunately, some knowledge partners from FDOV/FDW PPPs were having the same thoughts and so the PPPLab came into being: a collaboration between SNV, WUR-CDI, Aqua For All, RSM-PRC, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and RVO.

The PPPLab is a robust investment from the Ministry to generate profound knowledge on PPPs. Wisdom is for free but knowledge comes with a price, and I am happy with this firm commitment. The PPPLab operates at arm length from the Ministry, allowing it space to respond to new opportunities. Raising the interest of the partners in the current PPPs is key to its success. I will closely follow its performance with great expectations and enthusiasm, and I hope you will do the same

Anno Galema is coordinator Public-Private Partnerships at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
7.Interview: Leo Nijland and Taco de Nies on BombaThe Networking WASH project (Nwash) is one of the projects supported by the Sustainable Water Fund (FDW) of the Dutch government. Nwash introduces the concept of an independent mini-network operator: Bomba. The project partners SNV, DUNEA and BoP Inc have started Bomba in partnership with three private sector partners in Tanzania, which will provide 230,000 people with safe water within the coming five years. 

PPPLab’s Marleen Brouwer spoke to Leo Nijland (Dunea) and Taco de Nies (BoP Inc), who just arrived in Tanzania for the project management meeting of the PPP and to engage with the local team about planning and supporting activities in 2015.

"The ‘PPP rules of the game’ might benefit if PPP initiatives have more flexibility to adapt their plans and routes to success. In a PPP like ours the world is not predictable, the original plan, results and how some results can be realized have changed along the way. Before a project kicks off, it is hard to make a detailed planning of every step in the business process. Therefore we would prefer to work according to milestones, which means we have to indicate per year where the project will approximately be." Read more

8.Events and collaborationsPPPLab actively seeks to connect to international discussions and research on PPPs in food and water domains. This allows us to learn from the insights and questions of others, and to share what we are learning. At this moment we've got the following events and collaborations lined up:
  •  PPPLab will contribute to a 'Masterclass Public Private Partnerships'  during a South East Asian workshop on innovation and experience with inclusive business. The workshop will bring together senior business, government, and civil society leaders in Viet Nam in september 2015. The Seas of Change programme, GROW Asia and the Food Systems Innovation initiative are joining forces around this event and related research.
  • On 3 December 2014 PPPLab’s Jan Ubels was asked to close an interesting seminar about "Partnering for inclusive and sustainable global agri-food chains", organised by the Partnerships Resource Centre (PrC), Wageningen University and MSM. It brought together a mix of participants from major companies, knowledge organisations, NGOs and government. The rich and lively exchanges propelled the idea of more regular well-organised learning events
  • We're also setting up collaboration with Spanish (Centre for Innovation and Technology for Development, Madrid) and British (Institute of Development Studies, Sussex) colleagues.  A series of seminars in 2015 in each of the three countries will allow the experience and research from each organisation to enrich the others. 
 Keep an eye on our website and Twitter account for announcements of upcoming events.
9.Interesting reads We'd like to share the following interesting reads and resources on PPPs with you: More resources about PPPs in food, water and private sector development can be found here.
10.Upcoming publications Currently the PPPLab is working on these research and exchange activities following from its Knowledge Agenda
  • On 3 February we have a kick-off meeting around our study on Business Models and Financing Strategies, for which we cooperate with Rebel Group and BoP Inc. Results will be published in April.
  • Next month our new Insight Series booklet on ‘Base of the Pyramid Strategies’ can be found online.
We always welcome your ideas for PPP research and exchange activities!
Please get in touch via our website.